US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the start of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme, in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/EPA

Negotiations between six world powers and Iran over its nuclear programme have been “tough and very serious” and the next few days will show whether T(...)

The first half was lively. The second? Well, usually some of us would have enjoyed yesterday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final a bit more than your average rugby half, but, okay, yes, it was a bit good. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Have you ever seen the like? Of course you haven’t. Were you stretched by the end of it? Of course you were. But come the weekend’s conclusion, if you(...)

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 01:  Conor Murray of Ireland clears the ball upfield under pressure from George Kruis of England during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium on March 1, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The debate continues, if not exactly rages, as to whether Ireland’s style of play will be good enough to win a World Cup. This in turn begs another qu(...)

Morgan Parra of France cuts a dejected figure after the defeat to Wales at the Stade France at the weekend. Photograph Michael Steele/Getty Images

Problems continued to mount for the under-pressure France coach, Philippe Saint-André, after the scrum-half Morgan Parra and the centre Wesley Fofana (...)

  Morgan Parra starts for France, after bringing them back into contention off the bench against Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Philippe Saint-André was this week eulogising France scrumhalf Morgan Parra, admiring the tactical nous of a player who, at 26, is in his prime. Why (...)

Peter O’Mahony: the forward is yet to taste success aginst England at senior level.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

There’s an increasing debate about the entertainment value being provided by this season’s rugby fare in general, notably the current RBS Six Nations (...)

Rhapsody in blue: Brian O’Driscoll was often the prime exponent of offloads in Schmidt’s teams. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland stand on the brink of history. Victory against England would equal the all-time Irish record of 10 wins in succession achieved in 2002 and 200(...)

Ireland outhalf Jonathan Sexton  is given treatment for a cut to his eye after a clash of heads with France’s Mathieu Bastareaud during the Six Nations at Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Michael Steele/Getty Images

“There is a great unknown unknown.” Prof Jack Phillips, neurosurgeon. Only place to go now is the neurosurgeon’s office. “I had a chat with qui(...)

France’s Vincent Debaty  made a big impact on his introduction against Ireland and had a hand in the French try. Photo: Franck Fifefrank/AFP/Getty

Last Monday I highlighted the crucial timing of the bench’s entry. This of course is only part of the story. Not long ago being selected on the bench (...)

Jamie Heaslip is out of the England encounter with broken vertebrae. Photograph:  Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ireland’s seemingly most durable and indestructible player, Jamie Heaslip, remains the only casualty from last Saturday’s uber-physical, bosh fest wi(...)